The Wooden Fish

The Wooden Fish

by Tim Tipene

Reed Publishing: Auckland, NZ.


A wonderful story about a community living and working together on a small Pacific island. The villagers have always worked hard to respect and preserve their resources – never to take too much fish, wood or flax, only what is needed, so that they will always have some left for another day. When the fish runs out one day, the villagers begin to worry – what will they eat now?

Wanting to cheer his father up, young Hanseni gives his father a gift – a wooden fish he has carved himself. Although his father loves the fish, it does nothing to ease his worry, so Hanseni throws the fish away, angry and upset. What happens next is truly magical…

Jennifer Cooper has provided some stunning watercolour illsutrations, which show images of Pacific island culture – tapa designs, flax weaving, fales and coconut trees.

This book was nominated because it brings the reader “…face to face with some of the realities on the Pacific Islands and the family situation.”

A New Zealand Curriculum-linked  activity for this picture book  can be found here.